Which Way Do I Go?

21 06 2015

I didn’t notice at first, but it was soon evident by the blank stare and the painful expression of sadness that tears were Rock _ngetting ready to burst forth. I was explaining to this young man the duties of his new occupation, what would be expected of him, and how he could make the job easier by listening to the advice I was giving him. It was at this point I realized he wasn’t listening to me, his mind was somewhere else; so I waited.

It started with a couple of tears running down his face, but within seconds it was full scale crying at its best. Even though I knew what the problem was I felt it best at that moment to remain silent, and lend an arm over his shoulder. Some would call that moment, an end to a dream. Others would say it was the beginning of reality. I prefer to look at it as a combination of both.

I had known this young man since his earliest days and even though he was a good kid that everyone liked, he was also a conniver and manipulator. If there was certain outcome this boy wanted to see, he had the uncanny ability to ascertain the situations in ways to accomplish the end results he sought. I had seen him work this personality magic he possessed many times with success. If on those rare occasions it didn’t come together as he had hoped he’d simply wait, regroup, and go at it from a different angle to finally accomplish his purpose. Yep this guy knew how to work the angles to get what he wanted, and most of the time it was just to get by. He wasn’t interested in accolades from tremendous feats; he was more concerned what was the least he could do that would be just enough to get what he wanted. Like I said he wasn’t a bad guy, he was just one of those people who didn’t want to play by the rules of life to get ahead. He had done this with school grades, part time jobs and even what he loved most, sports. And he had been warned by many that one day it would catch up with him and he wouldn’t have a backup plan to call on; which is where we find ourselves in the story.

After graduation he wanted to go on to college, but he knew his high school grades had not been good enough. So began his efforts to make that happen, unfortunately this time the plan didn’t come together. He had already had his first major setback in life when he was kicked off the football team his senior year. Now he was facing another seeing all his friends, including his girlfriend and brother leave for school while he stayed behind to work a job to earn money to go at a later date. It was my job to educate him about the hard and dirty work he would soon be doing. And the young man was angry, at himself, me and half the world. As the tears cascaded down his face, the realization of his situation had come home to roost. No more plots and plans to get what he wanted, he was stuck in a situation where there was no way out and the only thing left was just to face it the best he could.

J.C. Watts was quoted as saying, “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”

This young man was not a bad individual by any means, but he was blinded to the truth of his condition; the more effort he put forth to manipulate life, the harder it would become to live it properly and fully. The crash and burn he experienced was a valuable lesson on what it meant to be a “Man of Honor.” He began to see where the mistakes lay in his life and what it was going to take to eradicate them, in other words a rebirth of everything in his life, morally, emotionally, physically but mostly, spiritually.

Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

2 Chronicles 15:7: “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

It was little less than a year that my young friend spent learning a lesson about life and himself. Something must have caught on because he went on to learn a trade, get an education and become a teacher, plus marry a beautiful girl that God picked to be his helpmeet, and now they have two beautiful girls.

I just heard from him yesterday, got a note that went like this:

What can I say? Happy Father’s Day!

You’re the Best above the Rest.

Guiding me through Life

Helped me choose the best Wife

Taught me to ride a Bike

And how to be a father because of You

You modeled a man of honor as I Grew

Thanks for letting me do my own Things

And for blessing me with musical Jeans

You gave me knowledge with the good and the Bad

I thank our Lord and Savior for making you my Dad

Oh, did I forget to mention I was talking about my youngest son?!! Sorry, my bad.  I’m thankful for his kind words, like any dad, I only wish I could live up them better.

But as we “Travel the Rock Road” we meet many other sojourners like ourselves, perhaps in the same house walking a portion of the same road. And each person, each Traveler must make their own way and decisions. But I firmly believe all of us will have opportunity to help and guide others when they don’t know the way or maybe understand what’s expected of them in life. Still the end result is in the hands of each of us.

As one put it, “Let us choose wisely and let us choose life.”

See Ya Next Time!!




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